Tuesday 9 July 2013

The cap on care costs was launched amidst a swathe of publicity as the safety net that would prevent people having to sell their homes to pay for care, and it appears that many have been misled by the hype.


New research by Saga Populus poll shows that whilst 82% of over 50s are aware of the cap on care costs, less than one in ten (9%) knew what the limit had been set at.  Rather more worrying is the fact that 70% thought that the calculation for the care cap started as soon as someone was assessed as having a care need, and when prompted less than half (48%) correctly said somebody would have to be assessed in critical or substantial needs to qualify.


And whilst the details of the cap are still being debated, it’s clear that the public at large are even more confused about what costs will be included in the calculation of the cap:

  • 69% of people thought that accommodation costs would be included
  • 57% thought that any medical treatment costs would be included
  • 37% believed the cost of food would be included
  • 32% thought the cost of personal care, i.e. haircuts etc would be in the calculation


“Our research clearly shows that the government’s publicity machine has worked wonders in ensuring people are aware of the new safety net that they’ve introduced – but people are being lulled into a false sense of security.”  said Tim Pethick, director of strategy for Saga. 


“It is clear that mass confusion prevails around both the eligibility and calculation of the care cap. This lack of clarity does not bode well for the country, individuals or the politicians that will have to answer to the families that will still see their family homes sold to fund care costs”


The research also revealed that one in three also mistakenly believed that if they selected a care provider that was more expensive than the local authority, the total amount would be included in the calculation.




Editors notes:

Saga’s Populus poll interviewed 9,349 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 13 and 20 June 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.


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